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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 14, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EST

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the presiding officer: are any members wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, on this vote the yeas are 52. the nays are 48. three-fifths of the senate duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the
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motion is not agreed to. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion. we the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close the debate on s. 1845, a bill to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits and for other purposes, signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that the debate on senate bill 1845, a bill to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits, and for other purposes shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll.
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vote: the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 55, the nays are 45. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in if affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. mr. reid: i enter a motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on s. 1845. the presiding officer: the motion is entered. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i appreciate very much my colleague, the senator from -- the junior senator from nevada voting with us on this, voting with himself, he's a cosponsor of this.
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he and jack reed have done dmirrably good work for the senate and for the country. everyone should notice on the first matter we tried to invoke cloture on i did not move to -- a motion to reconsider. i did on this one. this is a three-month unpaid for. i would would hope we could get that passed sometime. if we can't, there's still an effort to i'm sure out there someplace, that we could find a way to work together to get these people the desperate help they need. so that's why i did this, leaving the door open for us to work together to try to come up with something. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to express my supreme disappointment that we have blocked the senate from moving forward on this critical legislation. there are 1.5 million americans
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who have lost their unemployment insurance since december 28. every week, 70,000 more lose that protection. so my disappointment is severe, but their situation is much more desperate. and we had within our power today, the ability to move this senate forward to help our people, to help people who only qualify for the program because they work and because they're still looking for work, in one of the most difficult job markets we've seen in many, many decades. it is extremely urgent that we act and today we failed to act. we have to continue to move forward. the majority leader has procedurally put us in a position so we can call this measure up again very quickly. we have to continue to work towards a solution. we have to keep the economy moving forward and creating jobs
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and that's what this was about, giving people some modest payment each week, but also as the c.b.o. estimated, this measure if extended for the full year would generate 200,000 additional jobs. that is on average what we have been creating each month, in fact, i will remind my colleagues, last year's unemployment insurance benefits were unpaid for and they generated additional jobs. not only providing benefits to people who needed it, who were searching for work, but increased economic activity in the country and put people to work. and i hope my colleagues recognize that this legislation that they filibustered today was the result of significant concessions to many of my republican colleagues. i work closely with my republican colleagues. we worked for a way through this
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thicket so that we could help americans who have earned that help. and i think it's important to make clear how we moved to try to accommodate the major objections and considerations of my colleagues on the other side. we first proposed and i proposed this as emergency spending, unpaid for, and we received from the other side a no, we can't accept that. it has to be paid for. and we went ahead and we -- in the first provision we voted on today, we paid for it. and we also responded to another significant concern, that we not use tax revenues to pay for it. so we avoided tax revenues. and next we went ahead and we adopted a provision to pay for it, to provide for many
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months, i think 11 and a half months of benefits. paid for without using revenues. and let me also note that this is -- the exception to the rule. the white house in some of their materials has noted that 14 of the last 17 times in 20 years that it's been extended -- u.i. -- there's been no strings attached, no pay-fors, emergency spending. but yet we listened to the thoughtful comments of our colleagues, we worked together closely with them, and we came up with a way to pay for this extension for 11 and a half months and not to use tax revenues even though many on our side -- in fact, i would be among them -- that would say there are egregious loopholes that should be closed regardless of what the revenue is used for but could be used to fund these benefits. and then we've had this procedural back and forth, but
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today leader reid offered a series of amendments to the other side and they objected to those amendments. so let me reiterate we have tried not only in very good faith but very diligently over the last several days, particularly, to try to bring something to this floor that could get the 60 votes necessary to help these struggling americans. we've incorporated in fact in our pay-for one of the provisions that senator portman suggested with respect to disability payments, which was controversial in some respects, but it was, again, another attempt to try to look at what my colleagues on the republican side as well as the democratic side were talking about in terms of how we would responsibly pay for this measure.
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we've been debating this extension since december. it's time to act and regrettably, we did not act today. we've made concessions to try to move forward. this was not a take it or leave it, it's been unpaid for 17 times before, it's going to be 18 times now, you've got to do this, et cetera, and yet, still, still we cannot tell people who are in very extreme economic situations, who are depending on this modest $300 a week to help pay the rent, may by the way, the mortgage, put fuel in the the car, have a cell phone, telling them no, you're still out in the cold literally, and it's pretty cold in many parts of the country. so, mr. president, we can't give up. we're not going to give up. i'm very encouraged that -- talking to my colleagues on the republican side they still want to work through with us, we'll
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accept that opportunity to work together. but let's just remember what is a disappointing moment today for many of us is a dispiriting moment for millions of americans who do not have the modest support that unemployment insurance would provide. we've got to work for them and we've got to work for our economy -- our economy and we can do both and in the weeks ahead, the days ahead we'll continue to do that. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: as we just heard sentence continues to discuss and consider an extension of unemployment benefits. many americans certainly do continue to struggle to find work and in today's economy and while assistance to those who are without work serves an important purpose in helping americans transition, i'm fearful that we are failing --
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in fact, i know we are failing to address the underlying and important root cause of that unemployment. and that is how do we as americans grow our economy and create jobs for the citizens of our country. a growing economy creates new opportunities for americans to find meaningful work and with meaningful work comes the opportunity for americans to improve their economic security and advance up the economic ladder. senator wyden and i have started in 2012 an economic mobility caucus that met today for the fifth time, exploring ways that we can work together to create the opportunity for every american to work their way up, have a better life, more -- a greater future, more success, better financial stability. but, unfortunately, again, at the moment in my view lack of leadership and partisan politics has prevented action on measures that could provide immediate boost to the economy at little
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or no cost to the american taxpayer. data from the kauffman foundation in kansas city makes clear that most new jobs come from the young companies created by entrepreneurs. in fact, since 1980, nearly all of the net new jobs that have been created by companies less than five years old. these new businesses create an average of three million jobs each year. as of december, there were approximately 20.6 million americans who are unemployed. want to work, but have stopped searching for a job. or are working part time because they can't find full-time employment. when we talk about the unemployment rate, it masks the true story. people 0 who have given up looking for a job as well as those who have a part-time job and need and desire a full-time job. and the labor force participation rate has reached the lowest level in 35 years.
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at a time when just 62% of working age americans are employed, it is clear we need an economic boost powered by entrepreneurship. to jump-start the economy and create jobs for americans we put together and i offered start-up 3.0. the the majority leader is often talking about the need for allowing votes on legislation with bipartisan support and this is such a bill that ought to be considered by the united states senate. working with senator warner, my primary cosponsor, but senators coons, kaine and klobuchar, as well as blunt and rubio, we address four key factors that influence an entrepreneur's chance for success. taxes, regulations, innovation, and access to talent. it's become all too common here that we're denied the opportunity to have a vote on
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things that many of us find common agreement on and start-up 3.0 is one of those. in fact, i offered along with senator warner this start-up 3.0 as an amendment to the unemployment insurance extension bill. start-up 3.0 makes commonsense changes to the tax code to encourage investment in start-ups. to address the burdensome government regulations, it requires federal agencies to determine whether the cost of regulations outweigh the benefits and encourages federal agencies to give consideration to the impact of proposed legislation, ladies and gentlemen, would regulations. a good idea is successful to starting a good business and to get ideas out of the laboratory and into the market this legislation improves the so taxpayer funded innovation can be turned into companies and spur economic growth and job
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creation. finally, start-up 3.0 ploidz opportunities for immigrants to stay in the the united states, they're often told they need to return home to pursue their careers when we know their talent and ideas could fuel economic growth and create american jobs. while there is meaningful disagreement, we have plenty of disagreement about the immigration issue, there are aspects of immigration in which there is broad agreement. one of the areas of agreement is highly skilled immigration. highly skilled immigrants not only provide the talent for growing companies needed to fuel further economic growth and job creation, but those individuals tend to be very entrepreneurial. immigrants are now more than twice as likely as native born americans to start as which. in 2011 immigrants were responsible for one in every
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four u.s. biz founded. in addition they are responsible for innovation. according to a study by the partnership for a new american economy, 76% of patents had at least one foreign born inventor. one of the best things we can do for the american economy is to welcome highly skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants. no matter what congress does, these individuals will continue to innovate and create jobs, the question is where will they innovate and where will the jobs be created, and if congress makes the right choice, those jobs and that innovation will occur in the united states of america and build the united states economy and employ united states citizens. unfortunately, there are too many people here in the senate, in the congress, in washington, d.c. who say we can't do anything unless we do everything. and that has prevented the passage of targeted immigration legislation that would boost the
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economic growth and create american jobs. that same attitude prevents us from doing many things on the senate floor and it's well past times we found ways to do the things we can agree upon not waiting for the opportunity to do everything but let's do the things we can while we wait and work on the chance to do bigger and broader things. our stem visas that we talk about that seem so important to our economy, american businesses are projected to need an estimated 800,000 workers but we'll only find 550,000 college graduates with an advanced stem education. we must do more to provide americans for stem careers so our country no longer has to depend on foreign labor. as we work to equip americans for the 21st century economy, we need to create a pathway for highly educated foreign-born
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students here in the united states legally going to school to stay in america where their ideas and talents can fuel great american economic growth. start-up 3.0 creates visas for foreign students with a ph.d. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. they would be granted conditional status contingent upon them filling a needed gap in the u.s. workforce. it may seem counterintuitive this aby allowing foreign students in the united states -- a study by the american partnership by the american enterprise institute found that every imdprants with a graduate degree in the united states working in a stem field creates 2.62 subsequent american jobs. if an american -- if american companies are unable to find and hire the qualified, talented workers they need, those businesses will open locations overseas and i've seen examples
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of that too many tiessments when this happens, not only are those specific jobs gone, they're lost, but also the many supporting jobs and economic activity associated with them no longer are here either. and even more frustrating is, to me, when these highly skilled workers who are now employed in some other country, they're entrepreneurs, too. they will have an idea and they will found and start a business that may grow and create more jobs, but because they couldn't find employment here because they lacked the necessary visa, they moved to another country, they used their entrepreneurial skills and talent, they create the jobs, they create the company elsewhere, and the jobs that we need in this country are then outside the united states. this legislation also provides for an entrepreneur's visa. today one in every 10 americans employed at a private i had owned u.s. company works in an
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immigrant-owned firm. of the current fortune 500 company, more than 40% were found by a first- or second-generation american. why would we want to leave an immigration system in place that discourages entrepreneurs from coming to our country, investing their own money, and creating jobs here, strengthin strengthir economy? i think we should do exactly the opposite and welcome those people who want to create jobs for americans in america. start-up 3.0 creates a foreign-born visa system for entrepreneurs currently in the united states legally. thosindividualsindividuals witha would be able to stay in the united states and grow their businesses here. each immigrant entrepreneur would be required to create businesses for americans. if jobs are not created for men's, the immigrant would have to go back to his or her home country. using conservative estimates, the kaufman foundation predicts
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that anent pree entrepreneur vid create jobts in the next ten years. these are jobs for americans desperately seeking to work here and support their families and to follow their dreams. as the senate considers extending unemployment insurance in the short-term, we must not lose sight of the long-term goal that ate to be the short-term, the i understand mediate and long-term goal of creating an environment for jobs in america. and there is no better way to create jobs than to support entrepreneurs and foster the development of new businesses which are responsible for all those net new jobs in the economy. numerous studies demonstrate a smarter, more strategic immigration policy that supports entrepreneurs and skilled immigrants can grow the economy and help put americans back to, woo. jobless americans and u.s. businesses searching for talent they need to expand and create jobs can no longer afford to let the all-or-nothing approach to
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immigration legislation hold economic growth and opportunity hostage. it has prevented progress on important challenges facing our country for far too long. a far better approach would be to pass the things we can agree upon now and keep working to find agreement on the issues that divide us. first on this list should be the measures outlined in start-up act 3.0. other countries are realizing the value of highly educated and entrepreneurial individuals in starting businesses and they're changing their laws to welcome them. the united states cannot forward tto torn blind -- to turn a blid eye. we risk losing the next generation of great entrepreneurs and the jobs they create will be in foreign countries. and we risk continuing another month in which 20.6 million americans remain without meaningful work. work is an enenabling feature of life. jobs matter and this congress and this president have failed in my view miserably do one of
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our primary responsibilities to create an environment in which americans can find work and can pursue that american dream putting food on their family's table, saving for their kids' education and making sure that they have a secure retairmt in the few of and knowing every day that when they get up and work, they're doing something good for themselves, for their families and their country. mr. president, we desperately need to work together create an environment in which american jobs are created. no one i know really wants to be the recipient of an unemployment check. it may be necessary, but it's not their goal. the goal is to find a an ennoblg job supports them and their family. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i think it's wonderful to hear republican senator, senator moran, talk about job creation. it is really music to my ears, especially when he talks about the importance of addressing the
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issue of immigration, which clearly needs to be addressed and is clearly a job-creation issue. that's why i've been hoping that speaker boehner would take up the senate's immigration bill, which is comprehensive, and as the president said, president obama, if you can't do that, bring up a series of bills and let's get moving. believe me, i've seen every report there is. and senator moran is right. immigration reform is necessary for us. it's an economic issue. it will be an economic boon to our jobs in terms of jobs and g.d.p. i also think it very important that we not turn our back on an american value that we've had in this country since the 1 950's in which republicans and democrats in the congress and
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republican and democrats in the white house have agreed that when there is a great recession and people are out of work, that they need to have unemployment compensation, which is an insurance program, to keep them from falling apart. this is an american value. we talk about bipartisanship. and sometimes we just can't seem to get there. but i have looked back since the 1950's. mr. president, two-thirds of the time we passed an extension of unemployment compensation. many times to help people you worked so hard to represent, the mine workers and others, who were hit with hard times. and we've done it in a bipartisan way two-thirds of the time with no pay-for. since 1958, two-thirds of the time we extended it with no pay-for.
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under george w. bush, we extended unemployment compensation, the extended unemployment compensation paid for by the federal government, five times with no pay-for. because it was an emergency. and even though in those days deficits were raging, here we've cut the deficit in half. we don't like that. we want to cut it more. i want to see it in balance. we surely should do what we just tried to do, mr. president -- extend unemployment compensation for a long period of time with a pay-for, wheys we tried to do for a short period of time without a pay-for. and help people keep their lives together. so we've had this american value since the 1950's, and for the first time that i can tell, we had one party, with the exception of one person, vote lock step against extending
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unemployment compensation to hardworking americans who are looking for work every week, every day. and i have their stories i'm going to put them in the record. they turned their backs on 1.5 million americans. in my state, 250,000 people. now, here's the thing. and i don't like to come and make these speeches, but the facts speak for themselves. leader reid, the majority leader, just offered a very important deal in broad daylight to the republicans, and i'm going to make a parliamentary inquiry, if i might, mr. president. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: here it is. is it true that majority leader reid offered the republicans five related amendments to the unemployment compensation bill,
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those amendments to be of of their own choosing? is that correct? the presiding officer: you are correct. mrs. boxer: is it further true that he offered democrats five related amendments of their own choosing? the presiding officer: that's correct. mrs. boxer: is it further correct that he also said that each side could offer an additional five amendments as side-by-sides if they wanted to, of their own choosing? is that correct? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mrs. boxer: is it also true he offered time agreements of an hour per amendment & then to be followed by passage of the bill? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mrs. boxer: okay. the reason i wanted to put this in the record in a simple way is because sometimes when we have the back-and-forth and i object and reserving the right to object ... people lose track of exactly what happened. we offered the republicans everything they said they wanted.
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they wanted amendments. mr. president, they were offered amendments of their own choose choosing, up to 20 amendments could have been voting on under the agreement. they said they wanted pay-fors. we gave them a pay-for that actually came out of paul ryan's budget, a structural change that would have paid for 10.5 months of unemployment benefits. they can't say "yes." they redoondzed amendments. we gave them amendments. they demanded pay-fors. we gave them pay-fors. now, i have to say, something else is going on. and i have to say what i think is going on. they don't want to extend unemployment compensation to the
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long-term unemployed, and, mr. president, that is dramatic change that is occurring in the culture of this country, in the compassion of this country, in the consensus in this country, in the values of this country. 1.5 million americans now, 250,000 californians. i am, frankly, stunned. i know senator mikulski is here, and i so much want to hear from her, so i'll skip some of the other history about how it's been over the years and how we've done this, and we've come together, republicans, democrats. we extended unemployment compensation benefits more times under republican presidents than under democratic presidents, and democrats didn't stand there and say, gee, there's a republican
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in the white house and maybe this'll help him look good, or maybe it will add .2% to the g.d.p.; maybe we better say no. no, we said "yes." because we're a party that believes that people need to keep hearth and home together. the long-term unemployment rate is twice as high as it was at any other time that these extended benefits were allowed to expire. there are three unemployed people for every job opening nationwide. so i'm going to close with a few little stories from my constituents. because you got to hear the voice of the people. in this senate, we should be representing the middle class and the working poor of this country. we should be fighting for them. because, guess what? everyone else benefits. the billionaires and millionaires, think you'r they'g
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infine. they do better when we have a strong middle classments madam president, you are a fighter for economic justice and i know the statistic is something you've probably used many times. but the fact is that 450 families are worth more than 150 million americans. i can guarantee you those 450 families, they're just fine, and their children and their grandchildren and the children's children's children. and good for them. fine. but what about the people who are now cut off at the knees because they're not getting $300 a week to live? here's one of them. one woman wrote to me, "i'm 58 years old and receiving unemployment benefits for the first time in my life.
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i am currently receiving my first federal extension" which by the way she's now been cut off from. "i was laid off because the nonprofit i was working for lost a major portion of its state funding. getting unemployment benefits is not preventing me from looking for work. people getting extended unemployment benefits are required to prove that they're looking for work." she says i pent hours filling -- spent hours filling out applications and posting my resume without results. then she says to me, "how am i and thousands like me supposed to pay rent and eat? i want washington to focus on job creation but that's got to be in addition to, not instead of extending my benefits. i beg you," she says. "i beg you, please extend my unemployment compensation." and then there's caitlin smith of 29 times. she lost her benefit when the
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federal extension expired. a marine corps veteran, the mother of two. she says work is hard to come by. they can't move because her husband, a vet of the afghanistan-iraq wars, must remain near the combat center until he's discharged in july. listen to this. "i have to keep the house at 55 degrees even though i have two little girls age two and a half and one and a half." that's what she told "the l.a. times" in december. how do my republican friends, except for the one who voted with us at the end of the day, look themselves in the mirror and think about this courageous woman who, whose family put their life on the line for the country and who is freezing in her home? because they're playing parliamentary games on process. and last, and last, cindy snowe
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of beaumont, why are they using -- meaning politicians -- "why are they using us as pawns? they're playing games with people's lives," she said referring to politicians in washington. and that appeared in bloomberg news. and i ask unanimous consent to put the rest of the stories into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: so i'm going to say this. there's a lot of games played around here, and sometimes it's time to call the bluff of the people who are playing cruel games. and leader reid called the bluff of my friends on the other side, and he said you want amendments, you got them. you want to pay for this extension? we've done it. and what did they do? they walked away. and who's suffering?
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people like the people i just told you about. ordinary folks who want nothing more than to get a decent job, who are caught in a situation where we're recovering from the first recession since the great depression. and this is what we give them. a bunch of gobbledygook about i wanted more of my amendments so i can be proud and offer amendments. there is a time and a place for filibusters, even though they do far too many. there is a time and place to argue about process. this is not the time. this is not the place. and this is wrong. and i applaud leadership reid for his leadership. i applaud jack reed for his leadership. and pw-r senator mikulski takes the microphone, i want to thank her, what a hard job she had to sit down and negotiate an appropriations bill, an omnibus
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bill. but she did it in the right spirit of bipartisanship. so did her colleague whom she dealt with and had to deal with, congressman rogers. and as a result of that, we're going to do something good here and give stability to the american people. why can't that same spirit of cooperation take over when we have offered the republicans everything they wanted in order to get them to vote for unemployment compensation? i'm distressed about it, and we will keep fighting on this issue. i thank you and i yield the floor. ms. mikulski: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: madam president, i rise today to speak on the consolidated appropriations act of 2014, but before i make those comments, i want to associate myself with remarks of the gentlelady from california, ms. boxer, and also the gentleman from rhode island,
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senator jack reed; and also all of those who voted to move forward where we continue to provide an economic social safety net for those people who have lost their job and are actively looking for work and to continue this economic and social contract that's been part of the way americans respond to help other americans at a time when they're down but they shouldn't feel like they're out. and i would hope that we could put party rancor aside, that we would adopt -- look at commonsense ways to move this bill forward. in terms of the so-called pay-fors, i've been here a long time. i've never seen this pay-before before -- this pay-for before on
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unemployment compensation particularly on a 90-day bill. we're talking about 90 days and we're already in the middle of january. i hope the two leaders can come together and that we can resolve this. but on another topic, i want to report to the senate some very good news. i rise today as the chair of the appropriations committee, and i wish to announce that the consolidated appropriations act of 2014 has completed all of its work in the committee process. we have completed our conference, and it has been filed in the house and should be considered in the house and senate this week. what does that mean? well, first of all, our appropriations committee has met the test of the constitution. article 1, section 9, of the constitution directs that there be an appropriations committee, though it's not referred to by
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name, but that it be every year that we review the annual spending of the federal government and vote upon it. we also followed the law, and by following the law the law is the bipartisan budget act forged by the chairpeople of ryan and murray. we meet the requirements of the budget control act. now, the budget control act looks at total spending for the federal government. mandatory spending and then discretionary spending. we who are appropriators handle all of the accounts for discretionary spending, and guess what? the budget committee puts a cap on us, and that's great. it's a way that we actually have a cap on spending that everybody
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knows and everybody voted for. so we have a cap by law on discretionary spending of $1.012 trillion for fiscal year 2014. our work of our 12 committees stayed within that cap. and yet we spent the money to meet certain areas. we met compelling human need. we certainly preserved national security. we looked out for our human capital, particularly our children, in terms of education. and also invested in physical capital, improving infrastructure and also the long-range needs of our country by putting public investments into important research and development, like $1 billion more in n.i.h.. we also met the mandate of the
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american people who told us work together, be bipartisan, work across the aisle, and work across the dome. and you know what? we did it. and they also said when the bill comes up, don't do it with brinkmanship and don't do it with showmanship. get the job done in a commonsense way that promotes growth in our country but yet at the same time looks at reducing debt. they said don't do showdown politics, and we won't. we will pass it because we've met our deadline. they said don't put government on auto pilot with something called those continuing funding resolutions. we don't do that either. every one of our 12 subcommittees are in this comprehensive bill. now we've dealt with difficult and divisive policy issues but we did it with diligence and determination, and i must add we
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tried to promote an atmosphere of civility as we did it. it was tense, you bet you. and it was intense. but at the end of the day we did more pinpointing of how to do the job than finger pointing at each other. negotiations were, as i said, conducted that way. our house appropriations committee chairman, mr. howell rogers, the gentleman from kentucky, and i forged this agreement along with ranking members, my vice chairman, senator shelby of alabama and in the house congressman lowey of new york. we didn't do it alone. there was bipartisan agreement of all the subcommittee chairs and over 50 members of the house and senate. we met a very stringent deadline. when we left here on december 20, we had to produce a bill by january 15. that's tomorrow. that's when the continuing
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resolution expires. we're asking for a 72-hour extension not to finish the job, but so that we can do our deliberations on the floor in both the house and senate. we worked day and night. i joked and said during the deliberations i wish i was as thin as i am stretched because we really worked at it. over the holidays our staffs and our subcommittee chairmen worked. the only time they took off was christmas eve and christmas day and also -- so we want to thank each and every one of them for their dedication. as i said, this bill required very difficult choices. it meant give-and-take. and it meant more giving on both sides because there were no big takes. we worked under a very tight
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budget. $1 trillion. it sounds like a lot of money. and you know what? it is. but of the $1 trillion, $600 billion was in the department of defense. $600 billion was in d.o.d.. the other $3 billion was in discretionary spending for all of the domestic agencies. and then it comes out to like 620 and 380. but those are the rough numbers. so we did meet our national security needs, but we also were very mindful, and i was particularly mindful of the social contract with the american people. i want to -- i wanted to have a bill to help create jobs in this country, not make work but real work in rebuilding our physical infrastructure with roads and bridges and clean water.
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and i also wanted to look ahead to the long-range needs of our country in research and discoveries and not only to win the nobel prizes but to win the markets to help us promote exports overseas, accelerated manufacturing institutes where governments could work with this new emerging dynamic, small-scale manufacturing. i've lost over 12% of manufacturing in my state. so manufacturing is important. and we wanted to make sure that families felt they had a government that was on their side. first of all, helping with school safety. and we have a bipartisan program in here to promote school safety. but at the same time to promote quality child care and early childhood education. we then make those kinds of investments of all with an eye on getting value for taxpayers. our colleagues are very clear
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and so are the american people, we have to have a more frugal line, and i instructed my colleagues on the senate side, let's look at those programs that are dated, duplicative or dysfunctional. they get a date. dated, duplicative and dysfunctional. and we were able to eliminate many of them, and we will be back next year doing a scrub. if you notice, there has been no atmosphere of crisis. no atmosphere of crisis. another thing that i am proud of in this bill is that we avoided contentious policy riders. i think we have been able to deal with those in a way where they will not be a problem for either side of the aisle. however, there was one wrong or one tact mistake in the --
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tactical mistake in the budget committee that i'm proud that we were able to do. this was really at the very top of our agenda when mr. rogers and i met. we were deeply concerned about the cost of living issue related to military retirees of working age who were disabled or were survivors. their colas were mistakenly reduced by 1% in the recent budget agreement. this bill, the consolidated appropriations act of 2014, fixes that problem. it is limited in scope. it's limited to disabled military retirees and survivors of departed service members. the neediest of the needy. we hope as time moves on there is a presidential and d.o.d.
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commission on pension reform at d.o.d. and we'll have a comprehensive approach and i'll do it. but i also want my colleagues to know we were very mindful of these veterans, so we did this fix for the military retirees of working age who are disabled, who are survivors of departed service members, but we also did something else. if you go to the web site in the house, which has the most detail because it's pending there. it will come up in the senate when it moves here tomorrow. we really put money into veterans' health care. we put money into fixing the veterans' disability backlog. i know the gentlelady from massachusetts believes that on your -- if you're on the front line, you shouldn't have to wait until the back of the line to get -- if you're a wounded warrior to get your disability benefits determined.
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so we have pushed for those reforms and we have put the taxpayers' dollars behind it because we knew that's the way they would want us to spend their money, and we have also maintained the veterans' education benefit because many of our young men and women coming back home who served so well over there need to brush up on education here to move them to jobs here. so i hope in voting for this bill, people realize that it's a vote to support our most vulnerable patriots, to make sure we keep our promises to our veterans, and that we also then look at this comprehensive bill that we have moved ahead without rancor, without roar and we've tried to -- and we stayed within the parameters, the budget parameters given to us on a bipartisan agreement. so the house will consider this agreement this week.
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they have sent us over a three-day extension so we could complete our work. i hope we pass it. i'd like it to pass tonight or certainly tomorrow. we'll be on the floor for ample debate on this bill, and i will look forward to answering questions, but at the end of the day, when all is said and done done, -- in this institution, often more gets said than done, but you know what? we did get it done, and i will have more to say about it when the bill comes to the floor. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: madam president, i see my colleagues from minnesota and south dakota on the floor. i know that they want to enter into a colloquy, but they have been gracious to allow me one minute on a separate subject, which is flood insurance, and i thank them so much. i want to before i start just congratulate the chairman of the appropriations committee who not
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only understands the issues in a major piece of legislation from science to space to technology to defense to homeland security to education and really keeps so much of that in her mind and her heart, but she also, as we can just see, can explain this important bill to us in a way that everyone can understand it, and the senator from maryland is just truly a champion and a treasure in the senate, and i want to, before she leaves the floor, just acknowledge her extraordinary leadership because we have -- it's a very tough time to find common ground, but she has found it. with her republican colleagues. and i just hope that we can get this bill through the floor of the senate the next two days or three. madam chair, let me just say for one moment, please, how important it is to not only pass this extraordinary appropriation
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bill, which many of us have been working on for over a year, literally, in public hearings, in meetings, negotiating with our republican colleagues, and just, of course, in the last month these high-level negotiations have been going on, and we hope to be on that bill sometime tomorrow. leader reid has expressed that we won't be leaving for the break next week without getting that work done, so i'm prepared and all of us are here to handle that business, but there is another piece of legislation that, madam president, you particularly have been a cosponsor, senator hoeven who's on the floor has been an extraordinary leader, and that is to fix our well-intended but disastrous flood insurance program that we refer to as biggert-waters, which was passed about a year and a half ago, as i said, with very good intention but has had disastrous
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consequences in massachusetts, in south dakota, in louisiana, in texas, in montana, pennsylvania. this is not a coastal issue. this is an issue that affects millions of americans owning their own homes, their primary homes and business owners, middle-class, solidly middle-class people, people that don't live anywhere near a beach and people who literally have never flooded, their homes have never flooded have found themselves, because of the unintended consequences of this well-intentioned law in a terrible circumstance that they may actually lose their home and lose their business, and we can fix that. and the great news is we have a bill that is being led by senator menendez from new jersey and senator isakson from georgia. it is truly bipartisan. we have almost 30 cosponsors in the senate, so while it's been difficult to kind of find common ground, we have worked very hard
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to find it, and i'm here on the floor to say that to our knowledge we have pretty much worked out most of the objections on all sides. we think that there might be amendments that want to be offered by senator toomey, senator coburn, senator crapo on our side, senator hagan, senator merkley. we're working through that now. senator blunt's amendment we believe could be incorporated into the bill. senator tester's amendment could be incorporated into the base of the bill with no harm to the underlying balance of the bill. and so i just came to the floor to say to everyone we are really making progress, and if we could work on these few amendments just in the next hour or two, the leaders might be able to come and ask unanimous consent for us to get on this bill in the morning and actually finish it before we go into appropriations. so if everyone would cooperate just a little bit more on this,
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we could have several amendments, limit the time to, let's say, 30-minute debate on each amendment. we would end up with about six or so amendments. we could fit it into tomorrow morning's work period. that is my hope. if we don't, then we're going to have to stay here, i think, even after the appropriations bill and get this, because i don't know about you, madam chair, but i can't go home -- i just cannot go home again without getting this fixed. we have been now working on this patiently. we have had hearings, we have had meetings, we have had press conferences. we have a coalition of over 200 organizations. we have worked with the house in strong partnership. they will be ready to act when they get back on our bill, and if we can get a strong vote of, let's say, 70 senators, which we're hoping for, maybe more, that will send a very strong signal to the house of representatives. this bill has no score, a zero cost to this bill, zero.
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it doesn't repeal biggert-waters. it postpones it until we can fix it and gives us the impetus to fix it. so i don't want to take any more time, i thank my colleagues, but let's work hard in the next hour or so, and i really want to thank senator isakson for working so hard, the senator from georgia, to try to clear the objections that are on his side and senator menendez and his staff for working on our side, and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota -- north dakota. i apologize. mr. hoeven: i want to thank the gentlelady from louisiana for her work on the flood insurance bill. i do hope we have an opportunity to address that this week and will continue to do all we can to help in that endeavor. again, thank you for your important work on that legislation. i also would like to thank the
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gentlewoman from minnesota for joining me this afternoon. we are today introducing the driver privacy act. i am very pleased to sponsor that legislation with the good senator from minnesota. we have a great group that's joined us as we introduce this bill today. this is all about protecting people's privacy in regard to their automobile. every automobile that will be made going forward, over 90% -- something like 96% of the automobiles that are made now have a black box in them. this is actually silver but we call it a black box because it's an event data recorder. it records information about your automobile. 96%, i think, of automobiles being made now have them, but the u.s. department of transportation is requiring this year that every vehicle have an event data recorder in it. the senator from minnesota and i believe that that should be the
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owner's information, and that information should not be released without the owner's consent. we already have a good group that have joined us in the endeavor, including an equal number of republicans and democrats. senator johanns from nebraska, senator angus king from maine, senator kirk from illinois, senator joe manchin from west virginia, senator saxy chambliss from georgia, senator michael bennet from colorado, senator roy blunt from missouri, senator mazie hirono from hawaii, senator mark begich of alaska, senator orwin hatch from utah, senator ron wyden from oregon. so you can see a great group, absolutely bipartisan, equal number of republicans and democrats from across the united states have joined together here, recognizing that people are concerned about their privacy, and we need to make sure that their privacy is
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protected. so i'd like to make a few introductory comments here, with the help of these charts, and then turn to my colleague from minnesota for her comments as well. you know, we have seen with the n.s.a., with the i.r.s., with the affordable care act, with a whole range of issues that people feel with what's going on, not only with government but technology, that their privacy is at risk these days, and it's very much a concern. many people don't realize that this event data recorder is in their car. it records all kinds of information about the car, and in fact the federal government is requiring that this device be in their car and that neither is there a limitation on the amount of data that device can record nor is there a law that protects individuals' privacy, makes sure that the owner of the car decides who gets that information other than under
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very specific circumstances, circumstances which i'll take a minute here just to go through. so what kind of data gets recorded by your event data recorder or this black box that's included in your car? well, there is more than 45 different data points that are, in fact, recorded right now. again, the manufacturer can change this, add to it. there is no limitation or restriction or guidelines or requirements on what manufacturers can have that data recorder do. so right now, it records things like speed, braking, engine, seat belt usage, driver information, passenger information, steering, air bags, crash details, and as i say, at this point the manufacturer determines what goes into that black box in terms of what its capabilities are. and just to give you a sense, if you delve further in there, for example, engine, just pick one here, number of times the engine
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was started since being manufactured prior to a crash. obviously, the idea here with the event data recorder is that it provides information just like an event data recorder on an airplane, in the event of a crash, it provides information about the accident. but it's recording this information in a loop on a continuous basis and retains it for a short period of time but constantly updates it. for example, for your engine it can record the number of times the engine was started prior to a crash, the number of times started since being manufactured prior to the e.d.r. data download that's taken in case the box is removed and the information taken and there isn't a crash. how fast was the engine running. so that's just one of the 45 data points but the kind of information that is recorded and can be extracted from the black
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box. so what does our legislation do? it's very straightforward. the driver privates act provides that the data from the e.d.r. cannot be taken or extracted by another party other than under very specific circumstances. and that means it can't be done without your consent unless it's authorized by a court of law or the information is retrieved pursuant to a nhtsa which is the national highway highway transportation safety administration recall, or the information is needed in the event of a medical emergency. so essentially unless there's some kind of recall on the car and then they can't disclose any data about you as an individual, it's macrodata, all right, but that limitation, other than that without your consent that information can only be taken from you by a court of law or in the event of a medical
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emergency. and that's done, obviously, for the very reason that you have the black box in the car, safety, right? law enforcement would be who might be getting it pursuant to a court order but they can't just take it. they have to have a court order. medical emergency, you know, if you're in a car accident they need that information because of a medical emergency, then there's a special condition to take it. and in developing these we were very careful to work both with the organizations that advocate privacy but also the automobile dealers, also the insurance industry, also law enforcement. so we consulted with stakeholders like the electronic privacy information center, with heritage, with triple a, with the auto alliance, with the national association of chiefs of police. again, making sure that the law enforcement issues were covered as well as the aclu. so we've got a broad and diverse group that have been consulted and we've worked together with
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in putting together this information. 14 states have their own laws on this issue. and so here i have highlighted the 14 different states that have passed laws that in fact assure you that this information is your information and cannot be taken from you without your consent other than court order or medical emergency, but when you leave your state and you're driving in another state, you're no longer protected. so even though 14 states have stepped up and said yeah, this is something we need to do, in fact, it was something we did when i was governor in my state, that's 14 states and the other states, not only are they not protected but you're not protected either when you drive outside your state which obviously all of us do on many, many occasions. that's why we need a federal law. and the reality is this technology is just evolving and developing. this technology is going to continue to develop with all
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kinds of other aspects including obviously now g.p.s. and the different things that are being done with automobiles in many cases things that people want, but they need to know that their privacy is protected. and that's what we're doing here. and we're doing it in a way that we made sure that we continue to assure law enforcement and first responders, manufacturers that the safety issues are being dealt with but at the same time assuring the american citizens and consumers that their privacy rights are being respected and protected as required under the fourth amendment of our constitution. with that i'd like to turn to my esteemed colleague from minnesota and again thank her for the work of her staff as well as the work she's done on this bill with her background in
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law enforcement, she truly understands the issues and has been invaluable in putting together this legislation and so again i'd like to thank her and ask her for her comments. the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: thank you, madam president. i'm introducing this bill with senator hoeven who has been a true leader on this issue way back to his time as governor when he worked to pass a similar law in north dakota. as senator hoeven just described, the driver privacy act will strengthen safety and protect consumer privacy. and i think the bipartisan support that senator hoeven has gathered for this bill with seven republicans, seven democrats, and people all over the country from hawaii to georgia to oregon to alaska, not to mention the two of us from the middle of the country, demonstrates the strong support and the concerns that people have about emerging technology
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and we want this technology but i figure our laws have to be as sophisticated as the technology that we have out there. and right now our laws are lagging, and this information is not protected and there's really no road map on how it should be protected, and that's why we're introducing this bill. madam president, i've long supported improving safety on the roadways. too many people die on our highways and we need to do something about it. in 2010 there were more than 30,000 fatal crashes and more than 1.5 million crashes that resulted in injuries. this is unacceptable. rural road safety is a critical issue for my state as well as it is for senator hoeven's state. only 23% of the country's population live in rural areas, and yet 57% of all traffic fatalities occur in rural america. as a member of the senate commerce and transportation committee, i've worked to advance efforts to improve
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safety for all drivers, especially on rural roads and we've made some progress. the transportation bill, map-21 ensured strong funding for safety improvements at highway grade crossings and the allocation of federal funding was approved to put resources into roadways that need attention the most. my amendment in map-21 with senator sessions required the federal highway administration to work with state and local transportation officials to collect the best practices from around the country that are also cost-effective ways to increase safety on high risk rural roads. the report was just released and i'm looking for opportunities for how we can best address some of the challenges addressed in the study but it's clear we have more work to do. vehicle technologies that assist drivers and prevent crashes from grown tremendously in recent years, from new sensors that identify unsafe conditions to driverless cars, these emerging technologies could dramatically increase safety for drivers and
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passengers. event data recorders, the subject of our discussion today, hold similar promise in improving safety on our rhode islandways. -- road waste. an e.d.r. records data on a loop it receives from vehicle sensors and safety systems. the data is constantly being replaced and it only records five seconds of technical safety information when a crash occurs. although i'm sure that could change when the technology changes. e.d.r.'s can be the only resources available to determine the cause of a crash by providing information about what a driver was doing the seconds leading up to a crash, how fast the vehicle was going, whether the brake was activated in the seconds before the crash, if airbags were deployed and whether the driver and passengers were wearing seat belts. as a former prosecutor, i know how useful this data can be. it can be very useful for investigators to put the pieces back together to more easily determine the cause of a crash
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for safety reasons, but also then who is the one that caused the crash. the proven benefits to driving safety that e.d.r.'s provide are not new. in the summer of 2012 the senate included in its version of the transportation bill map-21, a requirement that the national highway traffic safety administration, nhtsa, initiate a rule making to require passenger vehicles and light duty trucks to include e.d.r.'s. at the same time, there were many legitimate questions regarding the impact expanding e. dr.'s to all passenger vehicles would have on consumer privacy. who owns the data, who can access the data? it became clear that an effective e.d.r. provision would need to strengthen driver and vehicle safety while protecting consumer privacy and the e.d.r. provision was removed from the final transportation bill. over the past two years nhtsa has continued to worker with
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automobile manufacturers to ensure the safety benefits of e.d.r.'s which could reach the most consumers. the auto manufacturers had already begun expanding the clution of technology in more new vehicles each year. e.d.r.'s became so commonplace that 96% of 2013 cars and trucks had the e.d.r. built in and nhtsa and the industry it regulates, the automakers were able to agree that all new cars and trucks should have an e.d.r. in place in september, 2014. i'm not sure everyone that buys a car is aware of this but by 2014, every single car and truck will have this capability. nhtsa, though, does not have the authority to address the consumer privacy concerns related to e.d.r.'s that have remained outstanding for two entire years as we've seen this enormous increase in new cars and trucks containing the e.d.r.'s. that's where senator hoeven comes in in. congress does have the authority to clarify ownership of e.d.r.
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data and that's why we are intiewftion the driver privacy act along with 12 other senators. our bill makes crystal clear that the owner of the vehicle is the rightful owner of the data collected by that vehicle's e.d.r. and it may not be retrieved unless a court authorizes retrieval of the data, the vehicle owner or lessee -- lessee, the information is retrieved to determine the need for emergency medical response following a crash or the information is retrieved for traffic safety research, in which case personally identifiable information is not disclosed. that's where you have it and we worked hard with the safety groups, and law enforcement, to make sure that this would work for them so you'd need a court authorization or you'd need a consent or a determination that it's needed to determine the cause of a crash, or it's needed for research, and in that case no identifiable data. this was really important for me
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as a former prosecutor that we made this work for law enforcement and our safety groups. but most importantly our goal was to make it work for the individual consumers, the citizens of the united states of america because we realized while all this was done for good intentions, no one had taken the broom behind and made sure that the american people were protected. having just left a judiciary hearing this afternoon about n.s.a. collection and data collection and privacy and civil liberties, it was very timely that i came over here. while this may not have the huge ramty indications -- -- ramifications of that hearing i thought if people thought ahead a little bit we wouldn't be sitting in that hearing. that's what we're trying to do, think ahead so we keep up with the technology so it doesn't beat us out and doesn't beat our constitutional rights out. i've seen firsthand, madam president, the devastating effects automobile crashes can have on families as their forced to say goodbye to loofd one much too early.
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oftentimes families want answers, want to know what happened and why. e.d.r.'s can provide those answers. our bill accounts for the needs of law enforcement and these families and you don't have to take my word for it. the international association of chiefs of police has concluded that the data privacy act would not cause any additional burden to law enforcement agencies in accessing the data that they need. advancements in technology oftentimes force us to take a look at related laws to ensure that they remain in sync. senator hoeven and i are introducing the driver privacy act to do just that. our bill strikes the balance between strengthening consumer privacy protections while recognizing that e.d.r. data will be required to aid law enforcement, advance vehicle safety objectives, or to determine the need for emergency medical response following a crash. i want to thank senator hoeven for his leadership. he is a true bipartisan leader. we have worked together on many, many bills and worked together, i always say the red river may
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technically divide our states, but it actually brings us together, whether it's about flood protection measures or whether it's about important bills like this. so i appreciate the opportunity to work with him on this bill. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: i'd again like to thank the senator from minnesota, senator klobuchar, thanks for joining me on this legislation, and working to really develop a great group of 14 original cosponsors and she brings such a great background as a prosecutor in the law enforcement industry and truly understands the law enforcement issues, the safety issues, and the informational benefits that go with event data recorders but also understands very well the need to protect individual privacy. and as i think we've both said very clearly here on the senate floor, this is a technology that is new and evolving, and
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it's not just that this is a new evolving technology where new capabilities are added all the time and we don't know what the -- what additional capabilities will be added, but now the federal government is requiring that this device be in every single automobile made. so when the federal government, the u.s. department of transportation, nhtsa, the safety branch of d.o.t., steps up and says okay, we're going to are require this device in every single car, we need to make sure we're also providing the privacy that goes with it that assures our citizens that their fourth amendments rights will be protected. i think again the senator from minnesota makes a great point. that when you look at some of these areas, in terms of whether it is n.s.a., i.r.s., or other areas, where people feel there wasn't enough work done on the front end to protect their personal privacy, and so we're in a catch-up situation. let's not do that when every
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single citizen across in country owns or their family owns or has access to some type of awfnlt -e type of automobile. and that's what we're trying to do. again, as the technology develops, we need to understand what the ramifications are and how to protect privacy, and i think on behalf of both of us, you know, we're appreciative that we've got 14 senators engaged already, and we look to add, and we're open to ideas on making sure this is the right kind of legislation that both takes -- that addresses safety but ultimately protects the privacy of our citizens. with that, madam president, i yield the floor.
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madam president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: madam president, i ask unanimous consent to suspend the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lee: madam president, i stand before this body today to talk about the omnibus spending package that the senate will be considering over the next few days. i have some concerns related to this omnibus spending package that relate to a program called
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pilt. it is an acronym with which most americans and probably even most members of congress are not familiar. it stands for payment in lieu of taxes. the program was developed so as to help those states, including my home state of utah, in which the vast majority of the land is owned by the federal government. beside me is a map of the united states. in red, you can see all the land that is owned by the federal government. as you can see by looking at the map, most of the land west of the rocky mountains, more than 50%, in fact, is owned by the federal government. very, very little of the land east of the rocky mountains is, by contrast, owned by the federal government. being from a public land state presents some interesting, some very significant, some very substantial challenges.
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among those challenges is the fact that the federal government has deemed this land's a land, s legislated this land as being beyond the ability of states and their taxing jurisdictions, beyond the states and their subdivisions to tax. so we can't collect property tax revenue from any of that land. as a result, a lot of our communities in public land states are impoverished, at least impoverished relative to what they might otherwise face. they're impoverished relative to what their ability would be to collect revenue through property taxes in public land states. for that reason, this pilt program was created to try to offset, at least to some degree, the heavy cost, the disproportionate burden that is placed on the shoulders of
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public land states and communities. so each year congress funds this program, and that program then partially offsets the lack of property tax revenue flowing through these public land states and communities. here's the problem that i'd like to focus on today: the omnibus spending package that we're considering this week contains no funding for pivmentr pilt. this is potentially devastating to public land states, including utah, wyoming, alaska, montana, and many other states, especially those throughout the west. the problem is that america's public land states and counties can't wait any longer. this program must be funded, and it must be funded in this bill. now, here's a letter from a commissioner in paiute county,
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utah. this commissioner states as follows. he says, "pilt not being funded in 2014 will have a devastating impact on all counties in the west. but it's particularly devastating to a county the size of paiute, with 74% of paiute county under federal control, $225,000 of our $1 million budget, almost one-fourth, comes in the form of pilt payments from the federal government. without this funding, we will be in the midst of one of the biggest disasters to hit paiute county in years. we've been scraping and scraping to try and figure out how we can fund a fourth deputy sheriff in our county, and we thought we had it figured out until this $225,000 evaporated from our county's revenue. at the present time, it is virtually impossible to staff all the police, search, and
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reserve coulrescue and emergence need. with this cut, it will be impossible." the paiute county commissioner continues, "we'll be forced to abandon services, including all services on public lands. it'll be sad to have our public lands left without police, search, and rescue and emergency services. i think it's critical to understand that the loss of pilt funding cuts clear to the bone and will be devastating to counties such as paiute." close quote. now, some argue, some insist when faced with arguments like this that this is all okay and that we can just wait to make pilp fundinpilt funding availab. we'll make it available through another vehicle that we'll supposedly pass later this year. in fact we'll make it better, we'll make it automatic, we'll make it mandatory spending when
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we actually do this later this year. now, it is through between 2008 and 2013 pilt was funded through mandatory funding mechanism. that has now exexpired. -- that has now expired. but it's important to remember that there's nothing mut mutualy exclusive about these items. no reason why we can't go ahead and fund pilt now with discretionary spending and then adopt something later to restore the mandatory nature of funding for pilt. we can fund pilt now in this bill and then we can make it mandatory later. we can and we should. this would give states and counties the certainty that they need, theceptor that they've -- the certainty that they've been waiting for, the certainty that will allow them finally to plan their budgets. remember, for many of these counties like paiute county,
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utah, pilt is a substantial portion of their an urevenue extreme. it is about one-fourth of the money that paiute county, utah, has to spend every single year. importantly, i offered an amendment to last year's budget, an amendment that would build a deficit-neutral reserve fund to make sure that pilt continued to be fully funded. that amendment passed. unfortunately, the fact that it passed has apparently not been enough to make sure that it continued to be funded. now, we have a major funding bill before us. this spending bill occupies no fewer than 1,582 pages. it spends in excess of $1.1 trillion and yet pilt still isn't funded. it's important to point out here that even if we do the right
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thing, and even if we fully fund pilt in this program this year, the pilt program is itself still not adequate. it's still in need of of reform. you see, pilt payments are quite insufficient. pilt was intended to soften the economic impact associated with the federal government owning so much of the land in the united states. in the case of paiute county, it's about three-fourths of the land. it's about two-thirds of the land in utah. in some states its well in excess of 90%. pilt was designed to soften that economic impact. but regrettably, the federal government gives states through the pilt program what amount to in many, many instances only pennies on the dollar of what the taxing jurisdictions would receive if they were to tax that land, if they were to collect
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taxes, even if they were to collect those taxes at the lowest property tax rate; let's say the green-built rate in many counties. we must correct that imbalance. and in the coming days, i plan to introduce legislation to begin the process of doing precisely that. after all, it makes no sense to have a program, a program that we, some would argue, deceptively entitle "payment in lieu of taxes" if in fact the payment in lieu of taxes doesn't even closely approximate the value that counties would receive if they were actually allowed to thasallowed to tax td collect. if a u.s. taxpayer decided to adopt his or her own pilt program and on april 15 of each year just sent a check to the i.r.s. saying these are not my taxes but this is my payment in
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lieu of taxes, i'm just paying what i feel like paying, that would cause problems. the taxpayer in question would probably end up in prison. in any event, it wonk end well for the -- it wouldn't end well for the taxpayer. yet we've allowed the federal government to get away with this over and over and over again be, often to the detain striment of vulnerable -- to the detriment of vulnerable communities, poor communities, communities that rely on the federal government's unsteady stream of revenue is now being threatened toasmgh aln a sense, the problem that we face with the federal government owning all this land is not new. it's a problem that's been around for a long time. in many respects, it was a problem envisioned by some of the founding fathers. in fact, we could go all the way back to the cit


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